Message from UNITID Director

I am pleased to welcome you to the website of the University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical & Infectious Diseases (UNITID).  The institute is located opposite the School of Medicine library within the College of Health Sciences (CHS) campus which is adjacent to Kenyatta National Hospital.

The institute was established from the Department of Medical Microbiology (School of Medicine) in 2004 with its core mandate focusing on training and research in Tropical & Infectious Diseases and biomedical sciences in general. The institute is a virtual institute drawing its research, academic and administrative staff from the existing University of Nairobi staff structure and other research and training institutions both locally and internationally. The training component of UNITID only supports postgraduate training programs; hence there are no undergraduate students. Currently, UNITID offers five (5) programmes namely: Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methodology (PGD-RM), Master of Science in Tropical & Infectious Diseases (MSc. TID), Master of Science in Medical Statistics (MSc. MedStat), Fellowship in Healthcare Capacity Building for Sustainable Development (Health Economics, Health Informatics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Monitoring & Evaluation and Program Management) and PhDs (Tropical & Infectious Diseases and Medical Statistics). Our student population is quite diverse – we have both local and international students as well as those joining immediately after acquiring their BSc degrees and those who have been in the workforce for some time but choose to further their education (this includes a sizeable number from both county and national government ministries).   We have both part-time academic programs (evening classes) and full-time programs consisting of coursework, tutorials, seminars, attachment/practicum, and end of year examinations. In both cases, the programs are designed to build core competences needed in the provision of services at the county, national, and international levels. Our students gain valuable theoretical, applicable knowledge and research skills that prepare them for leadership in their fields.

The research track is aimed to build local capacity at UNITID (both individual researchers and the institute) as well as interact with international partners to solve important research questions in tropical and infectious diseases. UNITID has unique laboratory infrastructure that is capable of supporting both basic science and applied research. The institute has well equipped biosafety level 2 (BSL 2) and level 3 (BSL 3) research laboratories that are ideal for safe handling of drug resistant pathogens and culture of common as well as emerging and re-emerging human pathogens. Our current research partners include local (Kenyan) and international partners that include University of Manitoba (Manitoba, Canada), Washington State University (USA), University of Ghent (Belgium), and US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Our goal is to increase the number of partnerships through research which is mutually beneficial. UNITID encourages local and international researchers to write joint research grants that will make use of the unique laboratory infrastructure already available. We also encourage individual researchers such as pre- and postdoctoral fellows with awarded research grants to come and use our laboratory facilities at a very reasonable bench fee.